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Sot Gôt (lower part of the Oberhalbstein)
Sur Gôt (upper part of the Oberhalbstein)

The Oberhalbstein , Romansh and officially Surses ? / i , is a valley in the canton of Graubünden . It lies between Tiefencastel and the Julier Pass and is traversed by the Julia River (Romansh Gelgia ). The area of ​​the valley corresponds to the municipality of Surses . The Oberhalbstein belongs to the Surmeir region . Audio file / audio sample

Population and language

The majority of the almost 2500 valley inhabitants speak the Rhaeto-Romanic idiom Surmeir (Rhaeto-Romanic Surmiran ). However, immigration has made the German language more and more important. Italian is also spoken in Bivio , the highest village in the valley .

Name and geography

The valley is named after the Conterser stone (Romanesque Crap Ses seven hundred and sixty-four thousand three hundred ten  /  one hundred sixty-seven thousand two hundred fourteen ) below Cunter at the valley entrance. The lower valley level to Tinizong is called Sotgôt (below the forest), the one above Surgôt (above the forest). The Oberhalbstein has an area of ​​almost 325 km².

The lowest point is at Tgant Ladrung between Cunter and Tiefencastel and is 995  m high. The highest point is the Piz Calderas ( 3397  m ).

The Parc Ela nature park, created in 2006, is the largest nature park in Switzerland at 250 km². On a quarter of the area of ​​the Oberhalbstein and the Albula Valley , the nature park wants to promote rural tourism with a markedly gentle development and present the area as a leisure and recreation area.


Up until the end of 2015 there were nine political communities in Oberhalbstein : (from north to south) Salouf , Riom-Parsonz , Cunter , Savognin , Tinizong-Rona , Mulegns , Sur , Marmorera and Bivio . With the exception of Salouf, all places were on the Julier Pass road (Riom-Parsonz had an exclave at Crap Ses that was on the road). On January 1, 2016, the nine parishes merged to form the parish of Surses .

A merger of all municipalities in the valley, favored by the canton of Graubünden, initially failed at the beginning of March 2006, mainly because of the smaller municipalities. In separate and simultaneous community meetings, almost 60% of those who voted said yes to the project. But because the communities of Cunter, Marmorera, Salouf, Sur and Tinizong-Rona spoke out against the merger and the required quorum of 85% of the votes was not achieved, the project failed. The Graubünden government had strongly promoted the first-time merger of an entire district with a "merger gift" of 9.25 million francs from the cantonal treasury. In a second attempt, the merger to form the municipality of Surses succeeded on January 1, 2016.

The area of ​​the Oberhalbstein is identical to the district of Surses . This is one of four districts of the former Albula district and, following the Graubünden regional reform, will remain in place for supra-municipal tasks until December 31, 2017 within the newly created Albula region .


Well-known holiday resorts in Oberhalbstein are Savognin and Bivio .

Looking out of the valley, the Albula Alps are on the right and the Oberhalbstein Alps on the left .

The Veia Surmirana runs through the entire Oberhalbstein .


In June 2006, the first professional theater and music stage in Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland was opened under the name Origen at Riom Castle. For this purpose, a wooden structure with a stage and auditorium with 311 seats was built inside the castle. The Rhaeto-Romanic opera Benjamin was performed as the first work .


  • Ziteil , the highest church in Europe, is located above Salouf . The pilgrimage church with pilgrims' house is at an altitude of 2429  m .
  • The Alp Flix above Sur, at 2000 meters above sea level, received national attention in connection with an investigation by the Swiss nature museums, when all animal and plant species were scientifically examined there as part of the Treasure Island Alp Flix project .


Web links

Commons : Oberhalbstein  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A convinced yes also in Savognin, Canton of Graubünden, Office for Municipalities, communication of April 27, 2015